Football Soars Past Tennessee-Martin 35-13 in Season Opener
The win marks the first season-opening victory since 2004.
Sept. 1, 2007
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss football team saw all aspects of its offensive scheme contributing, tonight, to defeat Tennessee-Martin, 35-13, at Carlisle-Faulkner Field at "The Rock."
With the win, the Golden Eagles marked their first season-opening victory since a 21-17 win over Nebraska on Sept. 3, 2004, snapping a two-game losing streak against Alabama and Florida from the past two seasons.
Tonight's game also marked the first home season opener since hosting Jackson State on Aug. 31, 2002. The Golden Eagles walked away with a 55-7 victory.
"I thought we ran the ball well all game," Southern Miss Head Coach Jeff Bower said. "It was a typical first game in some ways. We made some mistakes, and we'll have to use this week wisely to make sure we correct those."
Southern Miss fell behind 6-0 after UTM's Tom Hansen booted a 42-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 25-yarder at the beginning of the second.
Senior quarterback Jeremy Young notched his fifth career rushing touchdown, a one-yard carry in the second, to put the Golden Eagles on top for good at 7-6.
Senior wide receiver Chris Johnson recorded his first of two touchdowns for the night, rushing 14 yards into the endzone to put the Golden Eagles up 14-6. His second touchdown came in a three-yard pass from Young in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore running back Damion Fletcher extended Southern Miss' lead to 21-6, rushing four yards up the middle for his first touchdown of the season.
Senior running back Marcus Raines recorded his first career touchdown to improve the score to 28-6, carrying the ball one yard on his second career carry. He notched his first career carry on a two-yard first-down rush in the first.
The Skyhawks closed in on the Golden Eagles' lead on a three-yard run from Marcus Dawson.
Fletcher finished the contest with 156 yards on 19 carries, reaching the 1,500 yard career rushing mark. Freshman V.J. Floyd showed depth on the running back chart, finishing with 43 yards on nine carries, followed by sophomore Tory Harrison, who recorded 39 yards.
Redshirt freshman Torris Magee led the Golden Eagles in receiving with five catches for 56 yards, followed by Johnson, who tallied two receptions for 36 yards.
Young led the quarterback unit, completing 11-of-26 attempts for 115 yards and one touchdown. Stephen Reaves entered the game in the fourth quarter completing one-of three pass attempts for seven yards.
Freshman kicker Justin Estes made all five PAT's for Southern Miss.
The Golden Eagles return to action next weekend, traveling to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on Tennessee in a 6 p.m. contest.